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Old December 27th, 2012, 01:05 PM   #1
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Default Gun safes

It's about time I look into a real gun case instead of a display case I have. I have 5 long guns I would like locked away. I don't think my collection will ever be more than 5 or 6 guns. I'm not familiar with any safe manufacturers. I am looking for something to keep kids out, maybe anchor to a cement wall in my basement and prevent someone from stealing guns if they ever broke into my house. I don't think fire rated is important to me.

It seems to me a safe that only holds 5 or 6 guns is easy to walk away with so I think I really need some sort of way to anchor it.

Are there any good plans for a DIY safe?
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Old December 27th, 2012, 01:20 PM   #2
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I have one of the steel safes like you will see at Dunham's, Bass Pro, etc. It's a stamped steel safe that can anchor to a wall. It will keep the honest thief/kids out but I'm sure a pro could get in it. Plus, they are not fire safe.

One thing I quickly found out is that the base/floor of the safe fills up quickly. When the safe is empty, it looks like you can store 6-8 guns in it. However, as each one leans into its cradle, the stocks start to run into each other as they are stacked both in the back and on the side. Plus, if you want to hang a hunting vest in there that has shells in it, it takes up more space than you would suspect. Moral of the story....... get a safe that is deep.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 02:34 PM   #3
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I have an Stack-on 8 gun locker. It came with lag bolts to anchor it to the wall. There is a small shelf in there but like whiterhino said, it gets tight rather quick. I would look at getting a 15+ gun safe with a couple shelves for ammo and pistols.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 02:46 PM   #4
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Count how many long guns and pistols you have. Then double that number and go buy a safe that holds more than that number. Safes are like pole barns in the fact that most people run out of room in the first couple years of getting it. Also, look at things like mentioned above, ability to anchor to floor, fire ratings, quality of materials used, steel gauge, ability to configure and reconfigure interior, interior lighting if any. Champion and Liberty both come to mind to look at. Also, the below are good considerations brought up.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/buying_gun_safe.htm
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Old December 27th, 2012, 03:03 PM   #5
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I use several of the Stack-On types (can't get a 500 lb safe into my basement) lag-bolted to something immobile for long guns and a mechanics tool chest for handguns and ammo.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 03:19 PM   #6
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Yeah I am beginning to see they are categorized as safes and as cabinets. I am leaning towards a higher end cabinet. Someone trying to steal my guns wouldn't have time to sit there and break into a cabinet.

It seems most offer some sort of anchoring which I want.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TJJEEP View Post
Yeah I am beginning to see they are categorized as safes and as cabinets. I am leaning towards a higher end cabinet. Someone trying to steal my guns wouldn't have time to sit there and break into a cabinet.

It seems most offer some sort of anchoring which I want.
Also think about location - they can't steal it if they can't find it.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 04:03 PM   #8
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Safes are over rated. With that said I used to have a couple liberty's. But I got to the point I had to many guns. So I did what any man would do i built a room in my basement. With steel door
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Old December 27th, 2012, 04:10 PM   #9
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Old December 27th, 2012, 05:29 PM   #10
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Old December 28th, 2012, 05:48 AM   #11
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Count how many long guns and pistols you have. Then double that number and go buy a safe that holds more than that number. Safes are like pole barns in the fact that most people run out of room in the first couple years of getting it. Also, look at things like mentioned above, ability to anchor to floor, fire ratings, quality of materials used, steel gauge, ability to configure and reconfigure interior, interior lighting if any. Champion and Liberty both come to mind to look at. Also, the below are good considerations brought up.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/buying_gun_safe.htm
X2

Gun safes are rated for unscoped single shot guns, if you put any thing with a scope or stacked barrell it places the butt of the gun out and then a 12 gun becomes an 8, double your current need minimum.
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Old December 28th, 2012, 05:49 AM   #12
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Safes are over rated. With that said I used to have a couple liberty's. But I got to the point I had to many guns. So I did what any man would do i built a room in my basement. With steel door
"I got to the point I had to many guns"

TO HELL YOU SAY
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Old December 28th, 2012, 07:45 AM   #13
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This is about the best DIY that I've seen http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_3_16/542246_Job_Boxes_for_ammo_storage.html. Biggest issue is 1) you have no clue how long it's going to last in a fire and 2) it's easy to drill out the locks. Supposedly the GreenLee job boxes make access to the lock more difficult.

Honestly, after all the research I've done, I'll bet this thing protects your stuff from theft just as much as an actual RSC...there was a news article a few months ago where a coin dealer was robbed. All of his coins were in a gun safe (looked like liberty) and the thief just hacked the side panel with a fire axe to get at the collection. Unless you spend good money on a real safe with Tl-15/30 ratings, you're not going to avoid that...

IMO, as already posted the best safe is the one they can't find...here's another thread from on here:http://www.greatlakes4x4.com/showthr...light=gun+safe

And here's some good info I found on ratings shortly after that post:

"Safe Ratings

Burglary Ratings

* B1 — Theft resistant (minimum security)
* B2 — Underwriters’ Laboratories Residential Security Container label
* B3 — Non-rated anti-theft (incorporates features of high security safes
without a UL rating)
* B4 — Underwriters’ Laboratories TL-15 label
* B5 — Underwriters’ Laboratories TL-30 label
* B6 — Underwriters’ Laboratories TL-30X6 or TRTL-30 label

Fire Ratings

* FR — Fire resistant unrated insulated safe
* 1/2 hr — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 30 minutes with outside temperature of 1550 degrees.
* 1 hr — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 1 hour with outside temperature of 1700 degrees.
* 1 hr+ — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 1 hour with an outside temperature of 1700 degrees, plus survived drop test from 30 feet.
* 2 hr — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 2 hours with an outside temperature of 1850 degrees.
* 2 hr+ — UL class 350. Protects valuables for up to 2 hours with outside temperature of 1850 degrees, plus survived drop test onto rubble from 30 feet

UL Underwriters' Laboratories (UL) - UL is a non-profit, non-bias agency that tests and rates the safety and performance of consumer products. Safes that have earned specific UL ratings will carry a UL label which designates the product's security and fire-protection ratings.

* Net Working Time - This is the UL term for testing time which is spent trying to break into a safe using tools such as diamond grinding wheels, high-speed drills with pressure applying devices, or common hand tools such as hammers, chisels, saws, and carbide-tip drills. If a safe has been rated with a 30-minute net working time, (TL30), the rating certifies that the safe successfully withstood a full 30 minutes of attack time with a range of tools.
* Theft resistant - This rating means the safe provides a combination lock and minimal theft protection.
* Residential Security Container rating (RSC) - This UL rating is based on testing conducted for a net working time of five minutes, on all sides, with a range of tools.
* TL-15 rating - The TL-15 rating means the safe has been tested for a net working time of 15 minutes using high speed drills, saws and other sophisticated penetrating equipment.
* TL-30 rating - A product carrying the TL-30 security label has been tested for a net working time of 30 minutes with the same types of tools mentioned above.
* TL-30 x 6 - The TL-30 (30-minute) test is conducted on all six (6) sides of the safe.
* TRTL-30 - The TRTL rating designates a safe which successfully resisted 30 minutes of net working time with a torch and a range of tools which might include high speed drills and saws with carbide bits, pry bars, and other impact devices.

Fire Ratings

* Impact test - The UL impact test calls for the safe to be heated to 1550 degrees for 30 minutes (1638 degrees for a 2-hour fire rated safe) then dropped onto concrete rubble from a height of 30 feet. The safe is then turned upside down and reheated for another 30 minutes (45 minutes for a 2-hour fire rated safe). During this process, it must maintain its integrity and protect all contents in order to pass the UL impact test.
* Explosion hazard test - All UL fire-rated safes must undergo this test, during which the unit is inserted into a pre-heated 2000 degree oven. If the safe is not constructed properly, the rapid heating will likely cause an explosion.
* FR - Fire resistant, unrated insulated safe - This product is awaiting UL approval.
* Class 350 1/2-hour fire rating - During this test, the safe is heated for one-half hour to reach an exterior temperature of 1550 degrees. Because paper will begin to char at approximately 400 degrees, the unit being tested must maintain an interior temperature of less than 350 degrees during heat-up and cool-down testing in order to earn its rating.
* Class 350 1-hour fire rating - To earn this rating, the safe is heated for one hour to reach an exterior temperature of 1550 degrees, then put through the cool-down test. During this time the safe must maintain an interior temperature of less than 350 degrees.
* Cool-down test - This procedure is a key part of UL's fire testing procedures. After a one- or two-hour fire rating test, the safe is left in the oven for cool-down time with the heat turned off. Because of the intensive heat of one- and two-hour tests, the temperature inside the safe will continue to rise for up to one hour after the oven is turned off. To pass UL testing, the safe's interior temperature may not exceed 350 degrees at any time during heat-up or cool-down procedures.
* Class 350 1-hour fire & impact label - The safe has passed both UL impact testing and Class 350 1-hour fire testing (see above).
* Class 350 2-hour fire rating - The safe is heated for two hours to reach an exterior temperature of 1550 degrees and must maintain an interior temperature of less than 350 degrees to earn this rating. Class 350 2-hour rating and impact label - The safe has passed both UL impact testing and Class 350 2-hour fire testing (see above).



1. Test attack against the door and front face:
1. Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TL-15
2. Tool-Resistant Safe - Deposit Safe
3. Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TL-30
4. Torch- and Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TRTL-30

2. Test attack against the door and body:
1. Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TL-15X6
2. Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TL-30X6
3. Torch- and Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TRTL-15X6
4. Torch- and Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TRTL-30X6
5. Torch- and Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TRTL-60X6
6. Torch-, Explosive-, and Tool-Resistant Safe - Class TXTL-60X6


There was an news article recently in CoinWorld about a burglary and how a collector/dealer’s safe was “smashed”. The manufacturer of the safe was listed and I was not at all surprised that the thieves demolished the safe. The manufacturer given is a major supplier of gun safes, not security safes.

Gun safes are usually made with a body of SHEET metal (steel), 12 gauge, 14 gauge, etc. and a steel plate (usually 1/4 in or less) for the door. Security safes employ steel PLATE, ”, ”, 1” or greater and often have additional composite material to provide defense against various attacks (drill, torch, peel, etc). Security safes are rated on a letter scale, B, C, D, ... with B being a general catch all for 1/4” body and 1/2” steel door. There is also an Underwriter’s Laboratory rating (UL) such ad TL-15, TL30, and so on. The “15”, “30” , etc. on are measures of a the MINIMUM time it takes a professional to break in, the UL personnel that conduct the tests are pros.

Gun safes usually look pretty and have lots of thick locking bolts that give a false sense of security. Steel sheet metal is easy to break into, the local kid with an axe, crowbar and other tools can get in in no time. That thick fire resistant material between the sheet metal is just that, thick material to provide fire protection, NOT buglary protection.

One half inch or more of hardened steel with a drill resistance hardplate protecting the lock, glass or other relocking devices, drill resistant pellets and fibers between the lawyers of PLATE, and so on will discourage all but the most professional burglars. Time is the key to a good safe, not lots of locking bars.

The best jewelry safes may have a industrial diamond impregnated hardplate, slabs of copper to thwart torch attacks, multiple randomly placed relockers, and even layers (safe within a safe).

I would never store coins in a gunsafe and never buy one of those nice looking safes for sale at coin shows, A fairly “safe” safe is going to cost about $1000 for a good TL-15 safe (500 lbs or more).

Safest place for coins – a safe deposit box in one of those 50 year old bank vault safes that were build to withstand a nuclear attack."

Last edited by chris1044; December 28th, 2012 at 07:54 AM.
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